☐ Comic-book Gargoyle Character

When I was a small kid (~1983), my parents were running a Beckers convenience store and I remember one night, my mother took my sister and I there to pick up my sister’s father to go home. We hung around for a bit until his shift ended and he gave me a comic-book because it was missing the cover and so couldn’t be sold. It was my first and nearly only comic-book ever. I remember reading it on the way home or at home (though I don’t know if I was able to read at that point, so I might have just looked at it 🤔).

I recall the main character in the comic was some sort of large creature like a gargoyle, and a lot of the images of it were in silhouette. The only scene I remember well was of him sitting on a window-ledge of a building (which I suppose is appropriate for a gargoyle).

I tried looking it up, but the Disney show from 1994 queers the search. Even if I try to filter it out, the closest I can find is a character name (The) Gargoyle which is just a normal guy in a costume, but the one I remember was much larger and rounder and hunched, more like some depictions of Beast from X-Men.

Does anyone know what character that is?

This is my attempt to draw (in MSPaint) the scene of the gargoyle character sitting on the side of a building at night:

Gargoyle Comic Rendition
My attempt to draw my memory of the comic-book with a gargoyle character. No, he’s not reading a book, I just can’t draw.

☐ Does PWM reduce the lifespan of components (LEDs)?

PWM is a way to fake an analog signal from a digital signal. Instead of outputting an analog signal in the middle of the range, the digital signal is turned on and off at rate that results in an average at the desired analog level (for example, rapidly turning a 5V signal on and off at equal intervals would result in a signal that appears to be 2.5V).

This is a convenient way to fake an analog signal without a real ADC but it has some disadvantages too. For one thing, it doesn’t always work and can cause anything from annoying flickering to outright not working as with some motors.

Bending a piece of metal, like a coat-hanger or soda-can–tab will eventually cause metal-fatigue and break it. Likewise, repeatedly heating and cooling an incandescent light-bulb will cause it to die sooner. Does rapidly turning some electronics components on and off, LEDs in particular, damage or break them or shorten their lifespan? 🤔

☐ How do electrons (or holes) know which branch to go through? 🤔

Something that has always baffled me about electricity is how electrons (or electron-holes/charge-carriers) know which branch in a circuit to go through.

At a low-level, we picture conductors like wires as being similar to tubes or pipes and electrons as water, or according to many diagrams, as little balls. Using various laws (e.g., Kirchhoff’s circuit law), we can calculate different electrical aspects such as voltage, current, resistance, etc. through the circuit, which tells us how much charge (and even how many electrons) flow through any part of the circuit, but that begs the question of how the electrons know which part of the circuit they need to go through.

For example, if there’s a junction in the circuit with a resistor one path and another resistor with a higher resistance on the other path, the one with the lower resistance will have more electrons flowing through it, but how do the electrons know which path they should go through before they go down a path?

In this case, it’s sort of easy to imagine that the higher resistance causes them to bunch up like a traffic-jam, which makes it harder for them to zip through, so more go through the other side, but this analogy doesn’t always work. The same question applies to other electrical properties and even more complex circuit schematics. For example, what about a circuit in which the aforementioned parallel resistors are followed in serial with the opposite resistor? The two paths are now equal in resistance, but he traffic-jam analogy doesn’t apply. How do the electrons still work out ahead of the first junction that which path to go down so that they’re all equal at the end?

I can’t help but think that the answer to this question is another example of the mess of the quantum world. That maybe it’s because the electrons exist at all points in the circuit and only manifest after reaching the goal, then the path to take goes back, something like the quantum-eraser. 🤔

☑ Gigeresque Sci-Fi C64 Platformer

Many years ago, I played a computer-game that I think was on a Commodore 64 (though I don’t see how that could have been possible since I don’t recall actually using a C64, and could swear I played it on my own computer, which would mean DOS 🤔). It was quite colorful (e.g., vibrant 16-color mode) and was a sci-fi platformer with grotesque H. R. Giger like mosnters and visual (think Alien).

I recall you played as a robot (more like the ED-209 from Robocop than Thexder), and there was a large metal pill (like the paddle in Alleyway. I also recall a large red monster face in the corner of the screen (possibly embedded into the floor or wall), facing up at a 45° angle.

I’m certain I managed to look it up several years ago, but I just can’t seem to find it now. I’ve tried various combinations of search queries, but Google Images doesn’t seem to find it. Whatever it is is reminiscent of Starquake. I feel like it was Turrican but a quick search indicates it is not (although it certainly does have some of the red tendrils that fit).

What game is it? 🤔

Starquake
Starquake is sort of close, but I know Starquake, and it’s definitely not it
Turrican
Turrican isn’t the one, but it’s close
Starquake
Starquake has some familiar aspects, but is definitely not it
ED-209
You play as a robot that looks sort of like the ED-209 from Robocop
Alleyway
I recall a metal pill-shaped thing like the paddle in Alleyway

☐ Old yellowish animated movie like a cross between Hobbit and Dark Crystal

Many (many :-\) years ago, when I was little, my little sister and I spent the weekend in Toronto at her father’s place. I recall that the first night we were there, he had a bunch of people over for a sort of party or whatever, so my sister and I stayed in the bedroom and watched an animated movie. For decades now, I’ve been trying to figure out what movie it was. Here’s a list of everything I can remember about it:

  • We watched the movie on broadcast (OTA) TV in about 1984-1988, so it must be from before then.
  • It was similar to (but not) The Hobbit, a fantasy movie with fantasy creatures.
  • It was similar to (but not) The Dark Crystal, again, fantasy creatures.
  • It’s not Black Cauldron.
  • It was animated (definitely cartoony).
  • It had an overall yellow pallet for its color-scheme.
  • There was a scene in which two of main characters (very much like hobbits) were standing on the top of a cliff and watching an army of bad creatures (which in my mind are like Skeksis), marching through a mountainous pass and trying to figure out what to do or talking about warning someone.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? Does anybody have any idea what movie it was?

☐ KBDHID WorkNicely paramter

What is HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\KBDHID\Parameters\WorkNicely? What does this parameter control? Is it related to the user-generated BSOD/crash-control function?

There doesn’t seem to be any information about this on the Internet, the only search results that include it are of registry dumps of the key which of course say nothing about what it actually does.

It seems to default to 0 which from its name seems like the opposite of what would be desirable. My best guess is that instead of immediately performing a raw BSOD, it tries to avoid data-corruption by closing file and device handles before initiating the crash. 🤔

☐ Children’s BASIC programming book

Many (many :-\) years ago, when I was young, I got a book (likely published in the 1980’s) from the children’s section of the public library that taught BASIC to kids. It was the first programming book I read, and only days after I started programming (which in turn was only hours after we got our first computer).

I distinctly remember it was not a textbook, but rather told a story of a person (the reader) who has to save princess Penelope and along the way encountered various friends (including a wizard), as well as obstacles and other stuff. The encounters involved writing a bit of code to display something on the screen (in graphics mode). I only recall the parts that drew things on screen, but I think there may have been other non-multimedia tasks like calculating stuff or whatever as well.

Some of the people and things that you encounter along the way included a pair of glasses (there was something special about them), a seagull, and a dinosaur, (and I think also a gun of some sort).

I’ve long since forgotten the title and every time I’ve tried searching for it, I’ve come up completely empty.

Does anyone know the book I’m talking about? Does anyone know what it was called or who wrote it?

(When I read that book back that, I had no idea how to pronounce her name and thought it was unusual, thinking it was /pen-e-lope/ the entire time. I had probably heard the name Penelope before, but I’d never seen it written down, nor seen the English spellings of Greek names to know of their use of long ‘e’ (e.g., Hercules). It wasn’t until years later when I saw the name Penelope written down somewhere that I suddenly flashed back to the book and realized that was her name.)

☐ Why are there pleasure-nerves in the butt? Religion and Evolution both fail 🤦

Why are there nerves in the anus that can feel good and thus encourage anal-sex? Whether you’re a creationist or an evolutionist, it doesn’t make sense. If God designed us, then why would he put pleasure-nerves in the butt and then say it’s a sin to use them? If evolution created us, then why would it put pleasure-nerves in the butt when anal-sex doesn’t lead to procreation? 🤨

The only way to explain it is to grasp at straws like “God did that as a test”. 🙄 Or that “evolution did it so that sometimes they miss the butt and get in a vagina instead”. 🤦

It makes about as much sense as Chewbacca living on Endor.

� Salt-and-Vinegar French-fry Cheese-puffs

Many (many :-|) years ago (probably early 1987), my mother, sister, and I say down to watch Top Gun (on VHS). Obviously my sister and I didn’t find it very interesting because we fell asleep, and woke up later on in the movie. When we woke up, my mother got us a snack (in wooden bowls which we still have), which I have been searching for ever since. I’m fairly sure that my mother had gotten them from Bulk Food (a bulk-foods store, obviously).

The snack was puffy, white, elongated things, something like hickory-sticks, but thicker, like a cross between french-fries and cheese-puffs. They were salt-and-vinegar flavored.

Recently, I actually found a similar product at the dollar-store; it was Krack-o-Pop BBQ fries. I’m not sure if they’re exactly the same texture, but they’re pretty close to what I remember, except for them being BBQ flavored instead of salt-and-vinegar.

Does anyone remember a snack-food like this?

☐ Why Do Squirrels Prefer Nuts in the Shell?

Why is it that squirrels prefer nuts with the shell on instead of off?

That makes no sense because shelled nuts provide more energy for less work. With the shell, they have to work to get it out and even then, they only get one or two nuts (depending on the type of nut). With shelled nuts (that humans provide), the squirrel doesn’t have to work to get at the nut meat, and they can fit a lot more of them in their mouths/nests/etc. since no space is wasted on the shell.

In a Nature of Things documentary on squirrels, David Suzuki likened in-shell peanuts to $5 bills; that is, an extra special treat.

My best theory as to why they prefer nuts with the shell is that the shell helps to keep their teeth from overgrowing (they have to continuously gnaw on things to file them down). Of course I can’t imagine that a peanut shell provides much sanding value, so I’m not convinced that is the reason.